After an amazing five years of working with some of the most passionate leaders in women’s health, I have ended my time as Medicines360 CEO to embark on a new venture. As I look back on the past five years, I’m incredibility proud of the impact we’ve made at Medicines360 for women. Not a day has gone by during my time here that I didn’t love my job. We’ve accomplished so much together, and I am excited to continue my role as Board Observer of Medicines360. During my time as CEO, we expanded access to our products to help women get the medicines they need. We improve access by zeroing in on the most pressing needs in women’s health and creating new models to address them.
In the U.S., we’ve developed a high-quality, affordable, hormonal IUD. In the last five years, we have continued to file for and receive FDA supplemental approvals for extended durations of use for our product and we were the first hormonal IUD to be approved for 6 years of contraceptive use. This helped lower the cost of use per year, making a positive impact for underserved populations. We have also focused on improving equity in the marketplace by reaching women who would otherwise have trouble affording this type of birth control.
In several low- and middle-income countries, we launched the Avibela® Program through our subsidiary, Impact RH360, to make the hormonal IUD available. We’ve worked hand-in-hand with global NGOs to support registration, provider training, and product launch. To date, we’ve registered our product in four African countries with a goal to file for registration in 25 African countries by 2025. We are on track to provide more than 7,800 units of our IUD to four different African countries by the end of this year.
Our affordable, high quality products address unmet needs, and so does our educational work. Last year, we created a campaign to break down stigma-related barriers women face in accessing reproductive health care. #NotAwkward encourages positive and informative conversations about birth control and reproductive health. The idea is that anyone can make a difference for others just by sharing their story and that women can learn from and lean on each other.
As we look to the future, we know that gaps in women’s health expand far beyond birth control. The women’s health landscape is fraught with challenges. Systemic barriers lead to widespread disparities in outcomes for women. On top of that, stigma and a constant politicizing of women’s health leave women lacking answers and access. As one of the first global nonprofit pharmaceutical companies, we are uniquely poised to break down barriers women face accessing the medicines they need. Not only do we focus on products that fill gaps, we amplify women’s experiences to show them they are not alone and help them find the answers they need.
In 2021 and beyond, Medicines360 will continue working on health equity by addressing disparities and gaps within our healthcare system. Not only will the organization work to expand birth control access through our current products, we will assess other gaps and create new products to help women get the medicines they need at an affordable price.
As I begin my next journey, our Chief Operating Officer, Andrea Olariu, MD, PhD is poised to take Medicines360 into the new year stronger than ever, as we look to address more barriers within women’s health. As the Interim CEO, Dr. Olariu will lead Medicines360, maximizing our impact and improving the sustainability of our organization. As we expand focus, we will stay true to our mission to develop essential women’s health products that are facing drug shortages or have high prices impacting availability.
I am excited to see what Medicines360 will accomplish, as I know the sky is the limit for this organization. This team of experts, trailblazers, and builders will continue to shape new systems and construct solutions for the challenges women face as long as they persist.
Signing off and wishing you all the best,
Jessica Grossman, MD